I wrote this after the Ray Allen trade in reaction to the widespread criticisms of Allen, the trade and the direction of the Celtics in general. Posted 6/30/07.
After giving the matter some thought, I find it hard to believe that picking up a 7 time all-star two-guard in his prime in exchange for a combo guard, a draft pick and a big contract for a player who never fit is somehow a step backwards.
To address the fears of many: 32 is not 35 or even 34. Allen should have several more great years and a few good ones after that left in the tank. And bone spurs are not career threatening - painful, but not mechanically limiting.
Allen is not only a phenomenal player in his own right, but he solidifies our rotation by pushing Pierce back to his natural position at SF. Our offense is instantly diversified. Our defense is improved, as much by subtraction as by addition, as neither Pierce nor Wally couldn't stay in front of two-guards nor Delonte in front of points.
And the gravy to this whole deal is that we have our youth movement still firmly in place, only having sacrificed Delonte. (And if it came down who to pay after this season I think most would agree it would be Al before Delonte).
Now that we are actually players in the East, other potential pieces of the puzzle will no longer view us as a leper colony. Just one more good trade and we could be favorites to head to the finals. Great move, can't wait for the next one to solidify our contender status.
If Denver is serious about dumping salary we may be able to pry Marcus Camby (33 yrs old, three more years on his deal) from them for not much more than Theo's contract - keeping Al while adding Garnett-lite. Camby and Evans (4 year deal) for Theo works straight up. Or possibly Camby and a sign-trade for Steve Blake (Gene would have to smile at that, no?) for Theo. I would imagine in either scenario we would have to part with an addition asset (pick/player or both) but neither deal is pie in the sky. And either deal would make us pre-season contenders for the championship.
I can understand that people are sad to see Delonte go, or to have dreams of UPPPPP-side fizzle with the trading of the #5 pick. Funny, but the one think most people will agree Ainge understands is the draft and in the last two he has basically said that after the first few picks you are as likely to get a star in the second round as in the first. I don't know much about Big Baby, but from the buzz I've heard that may well be correct about this draft. (I already know that Rajon is easily as valuable as any of the top picks from the last draft.) Don't let the lack of national media exposure fool you about the value of the player we just acquired. This is an exciting time to be a Celtics fan.
3 years ago